Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blood in the Meadows - Excerpt

Today's post in an excerpt of Blood in the Meadows, one of the novels I have on and Barnes & Nobel. {Check the page for direct links}

It is a thank you - and teaser - for all of you who have accepted my inviation to drop in here. Every time I look at the count, it warms my heart.

*     *     *

Calmate, Roberto. The money makes it all worthwhile. She is young and will get over it.”
    The gunman looked at his friend and didn’t say a word. He knew it would do no good. Girls meant nothing in his society, only something to be used. Their age counted little.
    However, the abused girl was Roberto’s baby sister and he had looked after her from the time she lay in her crib. In addition, she looked up to him with total trust.
    I have betrayed her. She will never be the same and will remember this terrible time forever.
    The fact that she would have a huge amount of money for her future did not count.
    How can that arrogant pig desire a baby?  His wealth gives him any woman he wants. Why my little Magdalena?
    Roberto blamed himself. His Highness had ranted through the suite, demanding better food and wine. He quickly tired of the five call girls brought to him, finding them insufficient for his voracious appetite.
    And, to make matters worse, he used a great deal of the white powder, something no sane drug dealer did.
    Nobody dared complain or even suggest he acted wrongly. He was, unfortunately, the only son of The Don, the heir to the drug empire. He instantly killed anybody who dared confront him or even hint at anything out of the ordinary.
    Roberto had made the huge mistake of looking at Magdalena’s picture in the suite. Unaware of Olegario’s presence, he was startled when a hand appeared over his shoulder to take the picture from him.
    “Roberto, what a sweet little angel,” the Colombian’s voice cooed. “I would be honored to meet her. Perhaps we could play together?”
    Roberto struggled to contain his feeling of horror. He knew all too well what Olegario meant by the word play. Santa Maria, ayuda mi, por favor, he silently pled, pleading for Saint Mary to help him. “I am so sorry, SeƱor, but she is at school at the moment.”
    Once Olegario set his mind on something, he would not waver. He ordered Roberto to follow as he left the suite with his bodyguard and took the elevator to the basement garage where his big Mercedes waited. He demanded and Roberto told him the location of the school.
    Poor, sweet, innocent Magdalena could not see the evil in the man who smiled and invited her to enter the impressive vehicle with her big brother. She did not see the horrid lust in the man’s eyes as he undressed her with his eyes.
    Olegario order the driver to take them to Circus Circus where, with Roberto close behind, he gave the little girl anything she wanted. They spent several hours in the arcade and an equal amount of time on the rides.
    At Olegario’s order, Roberto called home to tell his mother that he had his sister with him and, biting his tongue under Ernesto’s glare, explained she was okay and perfectly safe.
    Roberto almost collapsed when they returned to the suite.
    As he took the little girl’s hand and led her into the master suite, Olegario softly said, “She will have enough money to live very well for many, many years.”
    That did not ease the pain and hate filling Roberto’s heart. It might cost him his life but, at the first opportunity, he would stop the terrible abuse of his sister. Forever.
    *     *     *
    The team formed up several blocks from the tower. Once again the damned Feds had stepped in to take the limelight - and glory. Another bragging right for their vaunted War on Drugs that produced results more like minor skirmishes.
    All the agents and cops wore flak vests, helmets with visors, and as much body armor that they could carry. They carried AR-16s, considered almost as good as the weapons Velez described the guards in the suite carrying. Each individual possessed the grainy photograph available for Ernesto Olegario, including explicit instructions not to hit him with a fatal shot.
    “I don’t care what it takes,” Caruso told them. “We want this guy alive. He knows a lot and we might be able to get something out of him before he gets all lawyered up.”
    “Not likely.” Chambers grumbled to himself. “He’ll be out of jail before we can finish booking him.”
    Uniformed officers secured the building guards, claiming that a wanted killer had been seen entering the building. Two of Olegario’s people stationed in the garage were quickly silenced, but only after a minor skirmish.
    The team raced up the ten flights of stairs, avoiding the elevators. The thought that a guard might see the numbers moving and would be alerted without a call from the security people down below. They silently slipped into the vestibule, one pair stationed in front of the door to the other luxury suite.
    One of the attackers slid a spy lens under the door, quickly scanning the interior of the suite. He raised five fingers twice, followed by two, counting twelve guards in various positions within the room. He then pointed in each direction to indicate how many were located where. The special team comprised all ex-military types who’d been through combat and knew full well how to enter hostile spaces. One of them prepared to ram open the doors while two others armed flash bang grenades.
    The entry went flawlessly.
    No sooner did the door go down than four blinding explosions filled the room with light and noise - completely disabling the guards.
    But . . .
    As the squad entered, two guards burst out of the room holding the coke, their automatic weapons blazing. Two agents went down, hurt but not wounded due to their Kevlar vests.
    “The master suite!” Caruso yelled, directing two of his men in that direction.
    At that instant, the door to the master suite burst open and a man came out. It was Ernesto Olegario, wearing nothing but boxer shorts.
    “I give up!” he screamed. “Do not shoot me!  I . . .”
    He was cut short as one of the stunned guards seemed to clear his mind, half-rose and, with a scream of pure hate, emptied nine rounds into Olegario.
    The receiver barely locked on empty when bullets from several agents spun Roberto around, driving him to the floor.
    Time seemed frozen until a little girl, naked, ran from the master suite to the dead guard. She dropped to her knees next to the dying man and screamed. “Roberto! ¡Madre de Dios! (Mother of God) Roberto, don‘t die.”
    Robert’s eyes brightened as he saw his sister’s tear-stained face. Slowly, a smile formed around the dribble of blood and he gurgled, “He will hurt you no longer, mi Hija.” The veil of death descended upon his eyes.
The child buried her face in her brother’s bloody chest and would not let go of him. 
    A female agent had been assigned specifically to deal with the child and quickly moved to the girl on the floor. She wrapped a blanket around her and tried to console her. It only took another three or four minutes until the emergency medical people arrived and took the girl into their care.
    “Ah shit!”
    The team’s sergeant looked at Caruso in surprise. He’d never heard the agent swear.
    After calming down a bit, the DEA man took out his cell phone and made a call. When someone at the other end answered, Caruso identified himself. “I’m sorry, Sir, but Olegario was terminated by one of his own people. He was surrendering when the guard shot him. We are certain he was the girl‘s brother.”
    The conversation after that was brief.
    The coroner had seven bodies to deal with. The other five severely wounded men were taken to the county hospital’s jail ward.
    The two agents who’d been shot suffered only severe bruises.
    They evacuated the child to the same hospital where an examination revealed she had been repeatedly violated and drugged. She would not stop crying and praying for her brother.

*     *     *

Next post will be an except from another.

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